About German Spirits

About German Spirits
The spirits industry is a strong and varied one in Germany. Most famous are the brandies and eau-de-vie, made from fruits such as cherry, pear and apple. The term schnapps can refer to an eau-de-vie or it can simply mean a strong alcoholic drink.

There are also vodkas (flavored and unflavored), London-style gins and whiskeys produced in Germany. Most are consumed locally; few are exported outside Europe.

Top Picks for Germany

Elephant Gin Elephant Strength Gin
97 points
$38
Clear color. Vegetal, spicy aromas of zucchini, steak seasoning, rose sachet and basil, and apple jacks and anise with a round, lively, fruity sweet medium body and a peppery, amusing, medium-length sweet lemon blossom, grilled nectarine, mint cream, and lilac water finish. A vibrant, very well-balanced over-proof gin that is surprisingly smooth, even neat.
Awards: 2017 Best Gin
Ferdinand’s Saar Quince Vodka
96 points
$63
Brilliant gold color. Spicy aromas of cinnamon, ginger, sandalwood, lemongrass, lime oil, and galangal with a glycerous, crisp, sweet fat body and an even, appealing, medium-length lime cordial, rose water, orange blossom honey, and lychee finish. A spicy and exotic vodka with loads of cocktail play possibilities.
Awards: 2018 Best Flavored Vodka
The Bitter Truth Drops & Dashes Roots Bitters
94 points
$18
Best Buy
Golden amber color. Aromas and flavors of toffee, orange-peach chutney, and fig bread with a round, tangy, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, long finish with nuances of creme brulee, brown spices, and leather finish. In an Old Fashioned these bitters dovetail completely and add dried fig, licorice and spice notes to compliment the cocktail.
94 points $18 Best Buy
Asbach 15 Year Old Brandy
92 points
$89.99
Dark amber color. Aromas of chocolate-covered black licorice, caramelized apple, orange marmalade, allspice, turmeric, and nutmeg with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a sleek, delightful, medium-long wild strawberry, black tea, orange custard, and hint of olive brine finish. A tender and silky dark brandy with big notes of fruit and spice.
92 points $89.99
Asbach Uralt 8 Year Old Privatbrand Brandy
89 points
$47.99
Rich dark amber color. Aromas of caramel, dried berries, fig spread on toast, and iced tea with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium body and a polished, interesting, medium-long vanilla, peanut butter bon bon, orange marmalade, and leather finish. A lovely brandy for sipping and swirling.
89 points $47.99
Asbach Uralt 3 Year Old Brandy
88 points
$29.99
Rich dark amber color. Aromas of dried strawberry, cherry, lime cordial, nougat, toasted wheat scone, and lilac with a silky, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a sleek, buoyant dark chocolate coated nuts and black tea finish. A mild yet ultra-pleasing dark brandy.
88 points $29.99
The Bitter Truth Drops & Dashes Nut Bitters
87 points
$18
Amber color. Aromas and flavors of bourbon barrel, dark caramelized nuts, dark raisin bread, and maple sap and bark with a round, bright, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and an amusing, medium-long finish with notes of chocolate toffee, delicate fenugreek, roasted chestnuts and sassafras, and oak and limestone finish. in an Old Fashioned these bitters amplify the woody notes of the bourbon making a younger bourbon taste older and bringing out the minerally charred barrel notes throughout.
The Bitter Truth Olive Bitters
86 points
$16
Bright golden straw color. Aromas and flavors of juniper and lemon marinade, smoked nuts and meats, olive brine and soy, and geranium with a supple, dry medium body and a tingling, complex, long finish displaying suggestions of flaming citrus, olive stuffed with smoked cheese and ham, and honey finish. In the gin martini the woodsy, smoky, olive notes mesh nicely creating a dirty martini with a savory stuffed olive effect.
The Bitter Truth Drops & Dashes Wood Bitters
85 points
$18
Bright garnet color. Aromas and flavors of toasted meringue, creme brulee, lime gelato, and smoked paprika and purple carrots with an fruity light-to-medium body and an interesting, medium finish imparting accents of pu-erh tea and hint of cola float finish. These bitters add an interesting smoky, almost BBQ rub element that make a cocktail more complex, toasty and dessert-like without getting heavy and cloying.
The Bitter Truth Drops & Dashes Blossom Bitters
84 points
$18
Bright mahogany color. Aromas and flavors of lemon chiffon, floral honeycomb, duck egg, and fish sauce with a supple, tangy, moderately sweet medium body and a breezy finish that exhibits touches of citrus pith and gentian, hibiscus tea, sarsaparilla, and lavender perfume and potpourri finish. These bitters bring a distinctive earthy, almost animal quality to a pisco sour, making the egg seem like duck or ostrich egg; interesting.